Game Rap: Raptors 100, Mavericks 78
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Serge Ibaka and DeMar DeRozan checked out of the game with the Raptors ahead by 21 and 3:15 remaining in the game. After dropping two straight, Toronto rolled to a 100-78 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Air Canada Centre was playing double duty on Monday, with the Raptors 905 hosting the Austin Spurs in a dominant 116-87 afternoon victory. Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam both played in Monday’s afternoon game before also suiting up in the evening when the Raptors took on the Mavericks. The 905 set a D-League attendance record with 18,099 fans on hand to watch the win.
DeMarre Carroll missed his second consecutive game and third in the last four because of an ankle sprain. Norman Powell started in his place alongside DeMar DeRozan, Cory Joseph, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
Although the Mavericks got off to a hot-shooting start, the Raptors kept things close after the first quarter. Despite Dallas shooting 53 percent to Toronto’s 44 percent, the Mavs led by just a point, 26-25, after the opening 12 minutes. Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki each scored seven points for the Mavericks, while DeMar DeRozan scored 10 points and Jonas Valanciunas scored nine to lead the Raptors. One area where Toronto continued to struggle was beyond the arc where they were scoreless in four attempts, while the Mavericks made two of their four attempts.
Things picked up from downtown for the Raptors in the second quarter. After missing all four attempts from deep in the first quarter, Toronto connected on four of 10 attempts from three in the second. The Raptors shot 50 percent in the second quarter, jumping ahead as Dallas’ offensive hot streak ran cold and the team connected on just 39 percent of its shots to get outscored 25-20 in the quarter. Toronto had seven assists in the quarter, as many as it had in the entire game in a Saturday loss to the Miami Heat. With eight points from Norman Powell on 3-for-4 shooting, the Raptors went into the half ahead by four, 50-46.
CONTINUING TO COAST
The Raptors came out of the halftime break even hotter than they were in the second quarter, shooting 63 percent in the third. The Mavericks lost starting forward Wes Matthews shortly before halftime to a calf strain, and their struggles from the floor continued from the second quarter as they made just 38 percent of their field goals in the third. DeMar DeRozan dominated another third quarter, scoring 11 of Toronto’s 29 points on 5-for-6 field goals as the Raptors closed the quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 13-point advantage into the final quarter.
CLOSING IT OUT
Toronto quickly turned a 13-point advantage into a blowout, thanks to a defensive effort that held Dallas scoreless in the fourth until the 7:04 mark. With the Mavs unable to put points on the board, Toronto went ahead by 21 points on Patrick Patterson’s third three-pointer of the game. All in all, Toronto outscored Dallas 21-12 in a fourth where both teams struggled to score. While the Raptors shot just 35 percent, the Mavericks were worse at 18 percent (4-of-22) in the final quarter. For a Raptors team reeling after back-to-back losses on the road, Monday’s victory — and effort — was a much-needed boost.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 25 points in 33 minutes. He shot 10-of-17 field goals, including 4-of-5 free throws. DeRozan also added six rebounds, two assists an two steals. The Raptors were a team-best +18 when he was on the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Norman Powell had a fantastic game starting place of the injured DeMarre Carroll. Powell shot 6-for-8 from the floor, 2-for-4 from three and 5-for-5 from the free throw line to score 19 points in 31 minutes. Powell also added five rebounds and three assists. Patrick Patterson came off the bench to score 11 points in 21 minutes. He shot 4-of-6 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc while adding seven rebounds and an assist.
THAT'S A RAP…
“That’s the main thing [the defence], but we can’t be happy with doing it one game. It’s got to be a consistent thing. We have to continue to get better. Take advantage whenever we play at home, carry that energy over once we play on the road as well.”
- DeMar DeRozan on an improved defensive effort
BY THE #’S
47…Percent field goals for the Raptors, 37 percent field goals for the Mavericks.
55…Rebounds for Toronto, 34 for Dallas.
10…Fast break points for the Raptors compared to two for the Mavericks.
94…Percent free throw shooting for the Raptors who went 17-for-18 at the line. Dallas shot 9-for-13 from the line (69 percent).
THEY SAID IT…
“It makes the game a lot easier when you do that and that’s the way we want to play. I thought we had a good rhythm tonight and I think that’s the key to it. Getting stops.”
- Dwane Casey on defence being the key to victory
“It was a big win for us coming off the road trip and dropping two [straight]. We were really focused and locked in on getting this win.”
- Norm Powell on getting back on track
“Especially to come back home after a long road trip, being in our comfort zone, playing in front of our fans and having that positive energy really got us going tonight.”
- DeMar DeRozan on returning home to get a win
“I really was impressed with Fred VanVleet. He and Delon Wright did a good job of pushing the basketball, Norm Powell, keeping the tempo going. Dallas wants to run a more deliberate, slow-down game and we didn’t allow them to do it. We had to impose our will on them.”
- Dwane Casey on the play of the reserves and Norm Powell, starting in place of DeMarre Carroll
The Raptors will practice in Toronto in advance of Thursday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Air Canada Centre at 7 P.M. ET.